Java Relief is now in its first retail location at one. boutique and it's an amazing concept.
A few months ago Brandy came to me and said, "I never wanted to open a retail shop, but I feel like God is moving me toward this." I thought, "How is this ever going to work?" I know retail is a tough business these days; it seems the Amazon monster is eating retail shops for breakfast and we don't have a lot of extra money laying around to pour into a risky endeavor. But with that said, I know when God speaks to Brandy there's no turning back. The last time she came to me with, "I'm thinking God wants me to do something", she ended up giving a kidney away — to a complete stranger!
I asked, "What kind of retail shop?" She said we could sell products from HopeSewn in Haiti. Hmmm... that did strike a chord with me. HopeSewn was a place we visited outside of Port Au Prince a few months ago. It's a cool new business that friends of ours started. They've taught former prostitutes how to sew, thereby creating jobs making high-quality products like dog leashes and collars, handbags, apparel, and pillows. When we were there, I asked them, "Do you sell any of this in the US?" They answered, "Not yet, but we are hoping to."
Brandy told me, she had been researching other companies that create jobs and have products for sale - made by people who have been freed from terrible situations like trafficking, domestic abuse, extreme poverty, etc. What a great vision! However, I was still skeptical of it working. I asked her, "Do you really think people will buy this stuff just because it'sfor a purpose?" That didn't go over very well with her, I realized that I was crushing her vision and also remembered that's why we created Java Relief! So I decided to support her in this venture thinking if it fails, it's okay, at least we tried and we can't ever look back and say, "We wish we would have done that". Plus taking steps of faith in the past have always made us dependent on God and have drawn us closer as a husband and wife.
We signed the lease and were off and running. Brandy and her mom worked hard on the space for two months, painting every square inch, while I came in on nights and weekends. It was a ton of work, but we felt energized as we felt the vision of it all coming together.
We opened on July 18th and were blown away by the community support we felt. God is good!
Our mission at one. is to help the impoverished find hope for their lives — free from any form of slavery or poverty.
We understand that jobs are a major key to freedom, self-respect, and hope. We embrace this vision by selling hand-crafted, quality products made by wonderful people who are working hard to have a better life.
Stop by for a free cup of fresh roasted Java Relief coffee! Check out the beautiful handmade jewelry, apparel, bags, and housewares for men and women, plus all the fun coffee accessories to go with your Java Relief coffee!
Co-Founder Java Relief
44 West 1st Street, Waconia, MN 55387
Thursday 10:00am to 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm
Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm